Leslie Lewis et Gérard Hagen "Bonjour de Paris" 29 Février 2016


Bonjour de Paris ...

Chers Amis,


This has been a very interesting start to the year. As always, I am surprised at how quickly the time is going. We spent a week or so fighting colds which unfortunately struck at a time when we had seven concerts booked over a six day period. Three of those concerts were outside of Paris so there was travel time as well. Every minute that we weren’t working was spent in bed in order to be ready to perform.  Fortunately we had six days off at the end of the month which especially helped Leslie to be able to rest her voice and we are both back in decent shape.  There was one memorable moment that I want to mention.  It was memorable in content but apparently not in context because I can’t remember which gig we were on when it happened.  The moment in question happened when four gentlemen who were seated with dates, perhaps wives, got up and started dancing together while the four women stayed seated having a conversation. Living in Paris for the past three years has prepared me to rarely be surprised by anything, but in this instance I took notice simply because they were not the least bit self conscious. They felt like dancing and apparently their wives/girlfriends didn’t, but that didn't stop them from having some fun.  Not a bad lesson to learn!


Yesterday we returned to Paris from working at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in London. We have been doing a lot of promoting of that date over the past few months.  Every time we met Londoners on our gigs in Paris, we would hand them flyers and mention the date. We also got in touch with the few people we know in London, and asked them to tell their friends, etc.  The result was that we had over fifty ticket sales and vast majority of them were people that had heard us before. There were even a few folks who travelled from Paris to be at the concert. So we are slowly building a European audience one or two people at a time, just like we did in California. Finally there is something we did in the states that works the same over here!  The Pizza Express is a very nice room to play.  The club has a very nice Steinway grand piano with a decent sound system and even better, an engineer who knew how acoustic music should sound. We had a great band as we hired two local musicians who took everything we threw at them and handled our wide ranging repertoire with only a few minor hiccups that we managed to make seem like they were meant to be.  After the concert Keri Chryst, an expat, singer/friend from Paris, joined us for an “after hours” bite to eat.  Being in London this meant, of course, pub food! Which in turn meant eating something that is going to invite a heart attack!  So all in all it was a win-win night. 


















Leslie & Gerard after the gig in London.















Leslie & Gerard along with Miles Danso bass, & Rod Youngs drums, at Pizza Express Jazz Club, London. Photo by Sima Fulford


We have a trip to Rome coming up later this month which we are both very excited about.  It will be our first time there and we will have free time, so any suggestions from you are welcome.  This spring we are doing some road work around France with the “Billie Holiday” concert we prepared last year as well as an appearance at “The Pavillons Jazz Festival”.  http://espace-des-arts.fr/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=32&Itemid=288

 In October we are doing a week with a quartet at a resort hotel in Dinard, in the Saint Malo area on the coast of Brittany.  So there is much to look forward to and much to be grateful for. 

As for March, we have the usual jazz club gigs in and around Paris so please check our website or sign up for our weekly email blast to learn where you can hear us.


Until next time,

Leslie and Gerard  


Please if you have any comments feel free to contact me at <gerard@surfcovejazz.com>.  I enjoy hearing your thoughts. This email also appears on our website where you may comment as well.  http://www.surfcovejazz.com/blog/






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